The Detroit Lions were back on the practice field on Wednesday as they prepare to host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13. Six players missed practice on Wednesday, including four starters, and the news surrounding running back D’Andre Swift does not sound optimistic.
Let’s take a look at the Lions’ official injury report for Wednesday, noting that the new injuries are bolded.
- RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder) — reportedly could miss “multiple weeks”
- WR KhaDarel Hodge (illness)
- RT Penei Sewell (illness)
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder)
- EDGE Trey Flowers (knee)
- DB Bobby Price (shoulder)
The news does not look good for Swift. His shoulder injury is an AC joint which could keep him out several weeks, and the Lions are smartly not planning on rushing him back, apparently keeping his future in mind. If he is projected to miss at least three weeks, a trip to injured reserve could be in order.
Sewell appeared to injured himself on a reach block in the second half last week, but he finished the game. His absence on Wednesday was illness-related, however, so it appears that injury is not bothering him.
Hodge, too, is dealing with an illness. He only played a limited role on Thanksgiving.
Reeves-Maybin and Price injured themselves during the Bears’ game and were unable to return. Their absence today isn’t unusual—the Lions typically keep players who injure themselves during the previous game out on Wednesdays—but the extent of their injuries are not known at this time.
Flowers has missed two weeks in a row now, and not practicing on Wednesday is not a good sign. Austin Bryant has been repping with the starters in his place.
- WR Trinity Benson (knee)
- OL Matt Nelson (ankle)
- DL Michael Brockers (knee)
Benson has missed the previous two games with his knee injury but he is expected to return to the field this week.
“Expect to get him (Benson) back this week, and see him contribute, because you see it,” wide receiver coach Antwaan Randle El said on Wednesday. “You see it show up, you see it happen, you see him making plays over and over again in practice. You’ve just got to get it to translate. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. You’ve just gotta get it to translate.”
Nelson missed the past two weeks with injury, and getting him back would be a big boost to a Swift-less running game. Before injuring his ankle, Nelson was road grading defenders as a sixth offensive lineman.
Brockers played through his knee injury last week, but it’s not clear if that was the cause of his snaps getting scaled back, or if coaches are giving more opportunities to rookies Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill.
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion)
Vaitai was doing light conditioning work ahead of last Thursday’s game and appeared to be progressing through the league’s concussion protocols. Getting in a practice today is another step in the right direction and he may be on track to be cleared by an independent doctor by the end of the week, thus making him available to start on Sunday.
No longer listed on the injury report
- QB Jared Goff (oblique)
- RB Jermar Jefferson (knee/ankle)
Goff called himself a “game-time decision” entering last week’s game, but he managed to start and play every snap. His oblique issue is something the Lions will surely monitor, but the worst looks to be behind him. Goff downplayed the injury during his Wednesday’s press conference.
“You know, we’re all kind of sore right now. Whatever week we’re in, 12 whatever it is, it’s kind of standard for everyone,” Goff said. “I don’t feel like I’m feeling any more than anyone else.”
Jefferson was injured in Week 10, missed Week 11, was active last week but only saw five snaps and no touches. The Lions typically limit players’ snap counts in their first game back from injury but expect his role to be expanded this week as they will need to lean on him more with Swift likely out.